Hungarian-ish skillet-roasted pork, two ways
Less than 24 hours after I met my future mother-in-law, I sat down at her kitchen table and spent most of the day helping her prepare food for her second son’s 30th birthday party. This proved to be a great, low-pressure way for us to get to know one another without the usual awkwardness. No matter what else is going on in our relationship or our lives, she and I can always talk for hours about food. About two years after we met, she called one day and during our conversation I confessed that new motherhood and sleep-deprivation had left me particularly uninspired and unmotivated to cook dinner that day. So she shared the following recipe she got from a Hungarian neighbor, which she’d cooked many times for friends & family, and I definitely consider it the best gift she’s ever given me. From the moment I first made it, we all knew it was a keeper. If my sons ask what’s for dinner and I answer “Grandma’s pork roast”, a round of cheers can be heard across the land. The best part about is that it is ridiculously easy, so it is weeknight-friendly but also company-worthy!
My little secret is that as much as we all love the roast, the best part is that I can usually get 2 – 3 meals out of it by making an easy rice & pork dish with the leftovers. In many poor countries, you’ll find people using a little meat and mixing it with rice in order to make it go further, feed more hungry mouths – arroz con pollo and Indian biryanis are perfect examples of this. In Puerto Rico, we make delicious rice dishes with just about any meat you can find, and I’ve made my fair share of arroz con dishes… make a little sofrito, add a little tomato sauce and a dash of turmeric (which is less expensive than saffron), throw in a pound or two of cut up meat, and voilá! That was my inspiration for this and we all look forward to having this “leftover” rice dish, so much so that my husband has learned not to use up all the sauce on the first night of the roast (usually he bathes his starches in any pan sauce there is to be had) just so I have it for cooking the rice.